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Old 03-09-07, 09:20 AM   #1
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Any opinions about a Trek 720?

I have a Trek 520 that is set up as a commuter/short touring rig.



I've spent considerable time on Vintage Trek and am enamored with
the 720 with the long chain stays. I'd love to find one and build it up
for long tours with panniers. Does this bike have a good reputation? It seems to
be the only one I've found with a super long wheelbase.
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Old 03-09-07, 10:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
I have a Trek 520 that is set up as a commuter/short touring rig.



I've spent considerable time on Vintage Trek and am enamored with
the 720 with the long chain stays. I'd love to find one and build it up
for long tours with panniers. Does this bike have a good reputation? It seems to
be the only one I've found with a super long wheelbase.
The Trek 720s and the 1985 620 have the long chainstays (47cm)--the '84 Trek 520 has 45.5 cm chainstays and the cantilever brakes, set up more for touring than your '85 520 which has a shorter chainstay and caliper brakes. I have the '85 720 and the '84 520 and they are both very comfortable bikes to ride--the difference in chainstay length between the two is no issue with me, but again I have small feet (size 8). If you can find an '84 520 frame or bike in your size & build it up that may be a more economical route to go than paying bigger $$$ for the high-demand 720s.
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Old 03-09-07, 10:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
I have a Trek 520 that is set up as a commuter/short touring rig.



I've spent considerable time on Vintage Trek and am enamored with
the 720 with the long chain stays. I'd love to find one and build it up
for long tours with panniers. Does this bike have a good reputation? It seems to
be the only one I've found with a super long wheelbase.
Here's some 720 info
http://www.vintage-trek.com/Trek_galleryWB720.htm
and more:
http://www.vintage-trek.com/refurbish.htm

You may have already seen this, but I thought I'd toss it out for you. That said, a 720 is a bike I'd love to have as well!
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Old 03-09-07, 10:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by karmantra
The Trek 720s and the 1985 620 have the long chainstays (47cm)--the '84 Trek 520 has 45.5 cm chainstays and the cantilever brakes, set up more for touring than your '85 520 which has a shorter chainstay and caliper brakes. I have the '85 720 and the '84 520 and they are both very comfortable bikes to ride--the difference in chainstay length between the two is no issue with me, but again I have small feet (size 8). If you can find an '84 520 frame or bike in your size & build it up that may be a more economical route to go than paying bigger $$$ for the high-demand 720s.

Thanks for the feedback karmantra. I was hoping someone in BF actually had a 720. I would consider a 84 or a 87 520 with the longer chainstay but I'd really like to go all out and find a 720. I haven't seen any available in my size though. I'm looking for a 25.5".
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Old 03-09-07, 10:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Here's some 720 info
http://www.vintage-trek.com/Trek_galleryWB720.htm
and more:
http://www.vintage-trek.com/refurbish.htm

You may have already seen this, but I thought I'd toss it out for you. That said, a 720 is a bike I'd love to have as well!

Yep Tom, I've been all over that site!

Actually, your long wheelbase Schwinn got me thinking about getting a touring rig. I see the weather is finally starting to break. We are going to have to get together for another ride.
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Old 03-09-07, 11:13 AM   #6
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Old Treks touring/road bikes aren't cheap...but they are quality...and very cool.

At this point in time, new bikes/frames are often a cheaper route.

Maybe an old Trek MTB? My wife rides an old 820-- a very nice steel bike that works great for riding around town or touring. PM for the details of reworking a MTB for touring if you'd like..I've made several.
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Old 03-09-07, 11:34 AM   #7
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I bought a [well] used 720 frame and fork for $25. I believe it is a 1990, which is a Taiwanese built 4130 Chrome Moly frame. I guess this would qualify as a early example of a hybrid?

Had it powdercoated for $100 including the handlebars. I'm putting it together now as a commuter but haven't ridden it yet. If the brakes come in the mail today I hope to have it finished by next week.

There are pictures of the frame before and after towards the end of the thread:
Powdercoat your frame/fork for CHEAP in Boston!!!
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Old 03-09-07, 08:50 PM   #8
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There are two different 720s. After the classic touring bike went out of production, a lower end hybrid was introduced with the same model number. Don't get the two confused.

The original 720 has become a bit of a collector's item and is often priced to reflect that. While the 520 doesn't carry the collector's premium, it still is usually overpriced because of the reputation the modern version has earned. The 80's 520 was more an entry-level bike and while there's nothing wrong with it, it's not something I'd pay more than $25-$50 for depending upon condition.

I ended up with a 620 which is a much better bike than a contemporary 520 without the collector's premium of the 720. That it's also the least known model also helps keep its price within reason.
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Old 03-09-07, 10:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
Yep Tom, I've been all over that site!

Actually, your long wheelbase Schwinn got me thinking about getting a touring rig. I see the weather is finally starting to break. We are going to have to get together for another ride.
sounds great!
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Old 03-10-07, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfspeed
There are two different 720s. After the classic touring bike went out of production, a lower end hybrid was introduced with the same model number. Don't get the two confused.

The original 720 has become a bit of a collector's item and is often priced to reflect that. While the 520 doesn't carry the collector's premium, it still is usually overpriced because of the reputation the modern version has earned. The 80's 520 was more an entry-level bike and while there's nothing wrong with it, it's not something I'd pay more than $25-$50 for depending upon condition.

I ended up with a 620 which is a much better bike than a contemporary 520 without the collector's premium of the 720. That it's also the least known model also helps keep its price within reason.
I'm not sure I would call the 520 it an entry-level bike (Mid-level?). Mine was equipped with Shimano N-600 components throughout. The frame is Reynolds 501 instead of 531 but that has never been a concern of mine since I'm a bit of a clydesdale.

I want to find an older steel Trek with long chainstays. My first choice would be a 720 or a 620 like yours halfspeed. The other bike I'm thinking about is the 1987 Trek 520 with 531 reynolds and 45.5 chainstay length.

I see by your profile that you have two nice vintage Treks. The one thing I notice is you have to pay attention to braze on attachments for the older Treks. They seem to be different for each bike.
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Old 03-10-07, 03:57 PM   #11
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sounds great!
Tom, I'm heading to sunny Mazatlan Mexico on Wednesday.

When I get back I'll get a hold of you. Maybe I should visit your neck ot the woods this time?
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Old 03-10-07, 06:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
Thanks for the feedback karmantra. I was hoping someone in BF actually had a 720. I would consider a 84 or a 87 520 with the longer chainstay but I'd really like to go all out and find a 720. I haven't seen any available in my size though. I'm looking for a 25.5".
It seems like your heart is set on a vintage Trek...

but, FWIW...you should seriously check out this 63cm Raleigh Kodiak. Top of the line tourer in it's day and it might just fit you. Raleigh 555 and long wheelbase/chainstays. Doesn't have the name recogniton as the 720, but IMO, it's a great bike (I have one).

http://cgi.ebay.com/1980s-Vintage-Ra...QQcmdZViewItem

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Old 03-10-07, 07:21 PM   #13
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Tom, I'm heading to sunny Mazatlan Mexico on Wednesday.

When I get back I'll get a hold of you. Maybe I should visit your neck ot the woods this time?
Sounds possible! Enjoy Mexico and don't drink the water.......stick to beer!
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Old 03-10-07, 07:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rnagaoka
It seems like your heart is set on a vintage Trek...

but, FWIW...you should seriously check out this 63cm Raleigh Kodiak. Top of the line tourer in it's day and it might just fit you. Reynolds 555 and long wheelbase/chainstays. Doesn't have the name recogniton as the 720, but IMO, it's a great bike (I have one).

http://cgi.ebay.com/1980s-Vintage-Ra...QQcmdZViewItem
Mariner, I just looked at that Raleigh and it does look nice!
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Old 03-10-07, 11:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
I'm not sure I would call the 520 it an entry-level bike (Mid-level?). Mine was equipped with Shimano N-600 components throughout. The frame is Reynolds 501 instead of 531 but that has never been a concern of mine since I'm a bit of a clydesdale.

I want to find an older steel Trek with long chainstays. My first choice would be a 720 or a 620 like yours halfspeed. The other bike I'm thinking about is the 1987 Trek 520 with 531 reynolds and 45.5 chainstay length.

I see by your profile that you have two nice vintage Treks. The one thing I notice is you have to pay attention to braze on attachments for the older Treks. They seem to be different for each bike.
Actually, I'm up to three old Treks. The third one was rescued from the dump by my father-in-law. It's an old road bike built with Ishiwata Magny. I forget the model number. It's too small for me but I'm in the process of making it road worthy so I can flip it.

I had my 620 powdercoated orange and I lined the lugs in black. It's a fantastic bike. It looks great and I no longer have any lust for a new touring bike.
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Old 03-11-07, 01:46 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by rnagaoka
It seems like your heart is set on a vintage Trek...

but, FWIW...you should seriously check out this 63cm Raleigh Kodiak. Top of the line tourer in it's day and it might just fit you. Reynolds 555 and long wheelbase/chainstays. Doesn't have the name recogniton as the 720, but IMO, it's a great bike (I have one).

http://cgi.ebay.com/1980s-Vintage-Ra...QQcmdZViewItem
The Trek actually has a longer wheelbase than the Raleigh; on the other hand, from what I've heard, the Raleigh is probably more heavy duty than the Trek, probably due to the shorter chainstays.

One other difference, the Trek is 531 throughout, the Raleigh is 555 in the main tubes only, and probably hi-tensile in the stays and fork.
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Old 03-11-07, 01:37 PM   #17
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Too bad you live so far away. The LBS guy has a gorgeous 720 hanging upstairs in his shop - it was just abandoned by some rich college student lo these many years ago. He'll probably sell it for around $500 or so. Oh, and it's kind of a small frame. I started kicking myself when I saw it in his shop, a few months after buying my LHT. It had been there the whole time, all I had to do was ask. Oh well! That's life.
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Old 03-11-07, 02:46 PM   #18
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The Trek actually has a longer wheelbase than the Raleigh; on the other hand, from what I've heard, the Raleigh is probably more heavy duty than the Trek, probably due to the shorter chainstays.

One other difference, the Trek is 531 throughout, the Raleigh is 555 in the main tubes only, and probably hi-tensile in the stays and fork.
On my 23" Kodiak, the stays measure out exactly 47cm and the Raleigh 555 sticker says "All tubes chrome moly".

I never could verify what Raleigh "555" exactly meant...some said it's the same as 501, others said it's in-between 501 and 531 and a few said it's 531.

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Old 03-11-07, 02:56 PM   #19
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Too bad you live so far away. The LBS guy has a gorgeous 720 hanging upstairs in his shop - it was just abandoned by some rich college student lo these many years ago. He'll probably sell it for around $500 or so. Oh, and it's kind of a small frame. I started kicking myself when I saw it in his shop, a few months after buying my LHT. It had been there the whole time, all I had to do was ask. Oh well! That's life.
When I posted this thread I hoped someone would say something like that. I'm tall and need a big bike.
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Old 03-11-07, 03:58 PM   #20
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On my 23" Kodiak, the stays measure out exactly 47cm and the Reynolds 555 sticker says "All tubes chrome moly".
It must have varied by the year then. The 1984 specs showed shorter chainstays. I'll post the 1984 chainstay specs tomorrow. The 1985 specs show full Raleigh 555, but a hi-tensile fork.

Quote:
I never could verify what Reynolds "555" exactly meant...some said it's the same as 501, others said it's in-between 501 and 531 and a few said it's 531.
Some educated guesses about Raleigh 555...



Anyway, that Raleigh Kodiak on ebay is a big bike, Mariners Fan, and a great touring bike.
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Old 03-11-07, 04:56 PM   #21
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It must have varied by the year then. The 1984 specs showed shorter chainstays. I'll post the 1984 chainstay specs tomorrow. The 1985 specs show full Raleigh 555, but a hi-tensile fork.

Some educated guesses about Raleigh 555...
Thanks for the link...so most likely Raleigh 555 = Reynolds 501. (I'm definitely not going to argue with T-Mar!)
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Old 03-12-07, 02:57 AM   #22
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It must have varied by the year then. The 1984 specs showed shorter chainstays. I'll post the 1984 chainstay specs tomorrow. The 1985 specs show full Raleigh 555, but a hi-tensile fork.

Some educated guesses about Raleigh 555...



Anyway, that Raleigh Kodiak on ebay is a big bike, Mariners Fan, and a great touring bike.

I've tried to look up specs for this bike but couldn't find anything.
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Old 03-12-07, 12:18 PM   #23
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I've tried to look up specs for this bike but couldn't find anything.
Here's the 1985 specs. Quoting from the catalog, "You'll think they're absolutely, positively the finest touring machines in the Northern and Southern hemisheres. And you'll like them even more when you're loaded."

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral...5/pages/2.html

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/retroral...985/specs.html

PS--Raleigh touring bikes came standard with "Quickstands" to hold the front wheel so it wouldn't roll...a nice touch.

PPS--Check out the Portage model. Maybe the first "expedition" style bike ever, with smaller wheels and drop bar!

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Old 03-12-07, 01:02 PM   #24
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I have a 1984 Trek 720. I think it is a great bike. I use mine for commuting (have not had a chance to tour yet).

I Have thought about updating some of the components on it, but sometimes think I should keep it as original as possible in case I ever want to sell it. I switch it from bar-end shifters to downtube shifters. Considering changing out the brake levers for more modern aero levers and routing the cables under the bar wrap. I need to think about getting a new saddle for it as the original brooks team pro is still on it and was abused by the first owner, I am the second owner of this bike.

Like I said though it works great as a commuter bike.
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Old 03-12-07, 02:03 PM   #25
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I have a 1984 Trek 720. I think it is a great bike. I use mine for commuting (have not had a chance to tour yet).

I Have thought about updating some of the components on it, but sometimes think I should keep it as original as possible in case I ever want to sell it. I switch it from bar-end shifters to downtube shifters. Considering changing out the brake levers for more modern aero levers and routing the cables under the bar wrap. I need to think about getting a new saddle for it as the original brooks team pro is still on it and was abused by the first owner, I am the second owner of this bike.

Like I said though it works great as a commuter bike.
Have you posted a picture of it yet?

You want to switch the bar-end shifters to downtubes?
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